Metal Insider contributor Anthony Maisano is listening to a different metal album that was released on that day every day this year. Today, it’s Black Sabbath’s third album to feature Tony Martin, Tyr, which was released 24 years ago today.
After the awesome Headless Cross album with Tony Martin, Sabbath followed it up with a bit of a different album. Tyr has quite a few Norse themed songs, as expected with that kind of album name. This album might have Tony Martin’s most impressive vocal work, such as on the chorus of “Anno Mundi.” Cozy Powell is explosive on drums, and the album has an overall really big, grand feel. “Valhalla” is a great song that expresses the powerful feeling this album has, and flows one track into the other, first with the battle-styled instrumental “The Battle of Tyr,” then into the softer, almost ballad-y “Odin’s Court.” It’s definitely a very different album in the Sabbath catalog, but a more than fine addition. The band even named a greatest hits album after “The Sabbath Stones.”
A lot of old-school Sabbath fans will be very disappointed that the album, without question, has less of a focus on Iommi’s riffs. His guitar parts are really quite quiet in my opinion. He still has plenty of great riffs, (I personally love the quicker riff towards the end of “The Sabbath Stones”) but they are certainly much more subdued. “Feels Good to Me” is such an obvious radio-friendly filler track, too. Finally, as much as I love “Anno Mundi,” the intro sounds WAY too similar to “Children of the Sea” for my taste.
Favorite Tracks: “Anno Mundi,” “The Sabbath Stones,” “The Battle of Tyr/Odin’s Court/Valhalla,” “The Law Maker.”
This is a different kind of Sabbath, but this is the case where different doesn’t mean bad. The biggest disappointment for me is how much Iommi’s riffs are downplayed, but even then, this is still an album I love. If you’re not locked down to one era of Sabbath, I believe this is an album you should certainly check out at least once. The power is incredibly strong in Tyr.